Text: Ephesians 4:17-24
I. Let’s first define the issue.
1. It is not whether boys and girls can participate in the same activity.
a. There are plenty of sports and other activities where both men and women participate.
b. Often, as adolescence is reached, boys and girls will separate, mostly because men and women have different levels of strength and so for fairness, the activities are divided by sexes.
2. It is not whether swimming is a proper activity. There is nothing inherently immoral about swimming.
3. What every question about mixed swimming revolves around is the attire chosen for the activity.
II. Keeping yourself covered
A. I Corinthians 12:23-24 - There are some parts of our bodies which are presentable, but others which need to be covered
B. When Adam and Eve were first created, they went about naked - Genesis 2:25
1. It was an indication of their innocence, just as a small child thinks nothing of running around naked after a bath.
2. But sin entered the world. Adam and Eve received the knowledge of good and evil. And their opinion of themselves changed - Genesis 3:7
3. To correct the problem they wove fig-leaves together into belts.
a. Fig leaves are about 6 to 8 inches long.
b. Yet, they did not find this adequate coverage - Genesis 3:8-10
c. Notice that even though he was wearing his fig-leaf belt, Adam still thought of himself as naked
4. After declaring the consequences of their sin, God made proper clothing for Adam and Eve - Genesis 3:21
a. A tunic is a long shirt that reaches from the shoulders to the knees.
C. An example from God’s rules for priests
1. The altar was not allowed to be placed up high - Exodus 20:26
2. To further prevent possible problems, the priests were to wear linen britches - Exodus 28:42-43
a. The wording is not clear in English, but the britches were to cover the from the waist down through and including the thighs
b. In other words, from the waist to the knees.
D. For women, nakedness included exposure of the breasts - Ezekiel 16:7
E. Exposure was an act of shame
1. Revelation 3:18 - The shame of your nakedness
2. Uncovering was a punishment by shame - Isaiah 47:1-3
3. Therein lies a major fault. We willfully forget the concept of shame - Jeremiah 6:15
4. Christians are to dress with a knowledge of shame - I Timothy 2:9
a. Propriety, modesty, decency - The Greek word is aidos and it means having downcast eyes in bashfulness. It means having a sense of shame.
F. Now, does the dress selected for swimming function in this manner?
1. Does it adequately cover the private parts?
2. Does it prevent exposure from fit or wetness?
3. Does it display a knowledge of shame?
III. Are we exposing ourselves to others’ shameful behavior?
A. I Peter 2:11-12 - There is a concept of fleshly lusts. Things that arouse desires of this world.
1. Make no provisions for the flesh - Romans 13:13-14
2. This goes both ways. We are not to select garments for their sex appeal. We are not to pursue situations that stimulate our lusts
B. II Timothy 2:22 - Lusts are a particular problem for youth
C. Not to think lustful thoughts - Matthew 5:27-30 (Adultery in the heart).
D. Keep your mind on pure things - Philippians 4:8
E. Even if you select proper and adequate clothing, will you be exposed to seeing others who are improperly clothed?
1. Repeated exposure makes us numb - I Timothy 4:2
2. We do not want to be calloused to sin - Ephesians 4:17-24
IV. Swimming or playing around
A. Few mean swimming when they say they are going swimming.
1. Many don’t even get wet.
2. Most play games in the water
B. Considering the lack of clothing, is it proper for boys and girls to place hands on others?
C. We often excuse behaviors because of the situation. But right and wrong doesn’t vary.
D. Israel’s sin was blatant. They did not hide it – just like Sodom - Isaiah 3:9
E. Walk the proper path - Philippians 3:17-21
1. Let us not glory in shameful things
2. Where is our priority? - Romans 8:5-7
F. There is no such thing as a little bit of sin - I Corinthians 5:6
V. It is time to live a transformed life - I Peter 4:1-5